Bolton v Leeds United: Determined to create more happy memories

SAM BYRAM has fond memories of his only previous appearance at a stadium that was then known by the name of the Reebok.

Sam Byram

It was his 12th game for Leeds United and yielded a first league goal as a team then managed by Neil Warnock earned a point from a pulsating 2-2 draw.

Amusingly for the 21-year-old, United’s point also came thanks to a bit of help from a current team-mate. “I remember Steve Warnock fouled me,” said Byram of the 50th-minute incident that saw him bundled to the floor by the then Bolton loanee and Luciano Becchio scoring from the resulting penalty.

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“He gives me a bit of grief about it even now, even though it was ages ago. That night means I have got good memories of there so be great to create another.”

Byram’s goal in the 2-2 draw was a fine right-footed finish and United would gladly accept one of them again today after a run that has yielded just 11 points from the last 16 games and seen the Yorkshire club slip into trouble.

Such a wretched return is why the relegation alarm bells are ringing loud and clear among a section of the Elland Road support.

Not, however, that a full-back who is in line to make his 101st appearance for Leeds today shares that pessimism.

Byram said: “I have always got the belief. We have got great players in the squad. It is just a matter now of picking up results.

“We have had sloppy matches where we have thrown away points and goals but I am still confident that we will be okay.

“It is okay playing well but you need to be picking up results. It’s down to winning matches now and if it’s got to be scrappy then we’ve got to do that to climb up the table.”

United travel to the re-named Macron Stadium with Byram expected to return alongside Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt after the trio were rested for the FA Cup defeat at Sunderland.

Head coach Neil Redfearn explained: “They needed a rest. It was a good time to give them a breather and take them out. They have looked a lot brighter this week as a result.”